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Sun May 20 2012 10:09:08

Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay Seller

By: Reader
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Dear Ina,
Here is a first! I am among the sellers that feel that Ebay never protects the sellers, always the buyers. I finally have something to say positive about Ebay.

I sold a glass paperweight egg about 6 weeks ago. When the buyer received it, she immediately wrote to me and stated that I am an excellent photographer and the pictures were much better than the egg itself. It wasn't broken, it wasn't scratched, it was received by the buyer just like it was photographed. She just felt that it was uglier than the photograph.

She asked to return it, and I told her I would accept the return but she would need to pay the postage back. Keep in mind that the egg only sold for $9.99 and I gave her free shipping, so you know how much I really made on the egg with Paypal, Ebay, and shipping fees and supplies!

She gives negative feedback and bad DSR ratings on all DSRs that she could (couldn't give a bad one on shipping quickly and cost). I was furious! I asked her to revise the feedback, she refused.

Looking at her feedback, I saw that she gives about one negative feedback for every 10 positives that she gives. I notified Ebay, of course they said they "would investigate". That was all that I heard from them.

I waited another two weeks and watched the feedback she was giving. She gave two more negative feedbacks, so I wrote to Ebay again. No answer, BUT SURPRISINGLY overnight my negative feedback and the bad DSR ratings that she gave were gone!

YEA - EBAY FINALLY IS LISTENING??????

Reading EcommerceBytes Letters Blog: Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay Seller
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Readers Comments

Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay   Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay
by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun May 20 11:39:54 2012
Her behavior was outrageous, but you shouldn't credit eBay with backing you up.  

If she hadn't been abusing other sellers you'd probably be nowhere because eBay wouldn't see a ''pattern''.

You only got taken care of because of how outrageous her behavior was, not to you but to others too.

If she had never bought another item on ebay they wouldn't have done anything.  

That's really the problem.  It has to get so terrible before eBay will do anything it's impractical to depend on eBay.  They are louts.

That's the problem, really.  It used to be eBay was just a venue, there was feedback but no one acted on it. It just stung.

Now with eBay using buyers libelous DSRs to charge you more, bury you in search, etc., it all affects your business so much! And buyers are going nuts.

They are so uppity now, like your buyer who said her $10 free shipping purchase was so ugly.  Wanted you to pick that item up from her and give a full refund.  You should have sold that item for $200.

In years past buyers would just put their purchase on eBay and sell it to someone else if they didn't want it.

Now, eBay forces us to accept returns for buyer's remorse, pay return shipping on a $10 sale, it's the kind of thing that can put you out of business.  
Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay   Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay
This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie
       
Sun May 20 12:10:27 2012
Steevo observes: ''...it's the kind of thing that can put you out of business.''

Because this is such an obvious truth, one can only presume that these policies are intentionally designed to accomplish exactly that.

It would be far too obvious (and a PR nightmare) for eBay to unceremoniously suspend or delete the accounts of all the small sellers who were deemed to be ''undesirable''. If such a thing were to happen en-masse, on a given day... it would simply be too obvious. There would be no plausible denial. They could not blame the seller for having ''broken the rules'' or ''shown poor performance''.

Instead, eBay actively creates a hostile environment that is all but guaranteed to weed-out many honest and competent sellers by virtue of their low-volume, or by virtue of the type of merchandise being sold.

Whether by policy or neglect or by creating conditions that encourages abusive behavior from dishonest buyers, eBay's end-goal is clear. Of that I have no doubts.

We are, in fact, seeing such a thing in action this very week. Their ''plausible'' excuse for listings not being seen is (or will be) a ''glitch'' or ''server error'' or update of some sort. Yet the result remains the same: small-to-medium sellers are no longer being seen in the search results. Pageviews are down, sales are down... and eventually (as expected and as desired) many will move on, or simply go out of business.

This will, of course, be to eBay's great delight. Yet if/when questioned on the outcome, eBay's response will be to point out that the seller ''chose'' to leave... or that the seller's business model was ''flawed'' and couldn't cope with the ''ordinary challenges'' of online sales.

Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay   Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay
by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun May 20 12:20:26 2012
Anonymous Annie is right as usual, but one flawed business model here is selling a $10 item with free shipping.  Waste of time!

Like I said, if the OP had sold that item for $200 there would have been money for taking pictures, listing the item, packing the item, shipping, easy returns, customer service, return shipping paid by the seller, everything.  

But eBay Inc. cannot produce a buyer who will pay that much.  

It's just a waste of time.  If this somehow disses small sellers that is not intentional, but every business has to gauge their activities and profitability so as to meet normal business goals.

Unless you have no business goals, that is.

I think going forward eBay is going to be a hostile environment for such sellers, if eBay Inc. has anything to say about it.

Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay   Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay
This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie
       
Sun May 20 12:52:05 2012
-- ''But eBay Inc. cannot produce a buyer who will pay that much.''

BINGO!!

I'd mentioned in another blog-thread that the one thing eBay is (was) known for, and built their reputation on, will forever be associated with the eBay site. Namely: unique, used, one-of-a-kind, flea-market, garage-sale, antiques, collectibles, etc.

Although many of those categories may also include some high-end and pricey items... eBay was built on people being able to find unique and hard-to-locate bargains... and the excitement of bidding-up on the highly desirable items.

eBay's current identity-crisis is making a mess out of everything!

eBay wants to be something that it will NEVER be able to become. The drastic change they desire CANNOT be successfully or easily accomplished with these incremental and gradual changes. Their current process only causes confusion and frustration among the buyers AND the sellers.

At one brief moment, they had the opportunity to be successful at BOTH. The could have nurtured and maintained ''eBay-classic'' while spinning-off and having a twin-sister site: eBay-Prime (or ''eBay Deluxe'' or ''eBay Retail'').

Sadly, for them (and for the small sellers who continue to struggle in the face of eBay's arrogance and incompetence) that moment, and that opportunity is gone. The moment has passed, and they will never be able to take advantage of it.

--- ''If this somehow disses small sellers that is not intentional...''

I don't think it does. I think you've made an accurate statement that describes how that business model has become incompatible with the current eBay (or, more accurately, with the type of buyers that eBay attracts.)

Indeed it DID work back in the day... and successfully too. People could easily sell their garage-sale-finds with minimal effort (ie: they didn't need a dozen professional photographs and elegant copy or money-losing return policies).

Even the savvy sellers who have tried to establish a ''no-refunds'' policy are still subject to eBay's ''after-the-fact'' partial refunds and overriding ''instant-refund'' policies. (Remember the violin?)

Every day that passes, more and more small sellers are figuring out that eBay is indeed a WASTE OF TIME (and effort and money). And the old-way of being successful just won't work at eBay.

Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay   Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay
by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun May 20 13:13:01 2012
On eBay, you can find things you *can't* find elsewhere.  

On eBay, things are *cheap*.

That is getting to be obviously incompatible.  

Except for books from the Amazon marketplace Amazon's prices are very high. Mostly retail, or even more.  More is necessary with the return policies they have there.  

But on eBay, you can't sell things really really cheap and have all those policies they have at Nordstrom.  

Easy returns, fast free shipping, end-to-end tracking, customer service.  

It's no accident Nordstrom doesn't specialize in selling $10 items.  

It's time for re-evaluating your selling standards on eBay. Find a way to sell that $10 item for $100 or $200, or don't put it on eBay.

I have been at this a very long time.  13 years on eBay. I was there when you could buy something at Walmart or Home Depot on clearance and make money selling it on eBay.  I did it!  

But now, eBay is a good place to sell things you got for free, but only if you either can get $80 or more for it or you have 100 of them all the same.  

It's just how it is now.  Either stop selling on eBay or figure it out.

One item for $10?  Impossible.  
Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay   Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay
by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun May 20 13:32:40 2012
One thing I have noticed, I have 5x as many complaints about shipping now.  

Even a guy who was close by and his shipping for a 25# item was calculated by the eBay shipping calculator at only $23.  He said that was too much.

But heck, it has to be put in a box, packed, addressed, etc.  Nothing much happens for less than that, we have employees performing those tasks. There is a definite cost.

We were only charging $10 handling and he still complained. So he was being charged $13 for shipping and $10 for handling, but that was too much. We are not making a cent on that shipping/handling, but it's too much!

This never used to happen.  But of course UPS is charging us more than they  used to. A lot more.

Buyers are complaining and so sensitive to costs now, it's getting ridiculous.

If anyone complains about shipping I mostly block them immediately.  I can't afford bad shipping DSRs to sell a $60 item.  
Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay   Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay
by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun May 20 15:59:41 2012
@ Annie

Annie's posts above were her being right again! :)

''Because this is such an obvious truth, one can only presume that these policies are intentionally designed to accomplish exactly that.''

Yes - as Ive said 400x, Noah Hershmann - new eBay VP said so in black and white. eBay is only focusing on large retailers and manufactorers, PERIOD.

You the small seller are the pain they dont want to have any more. Noah said it 2 months later in the next interview ''eBay doesnt want to be known as that $hitty auction site anymore'' (his words not mine!.)

eBays ''updates'' are not based on what ''buyers'' want, its what the large retailers tell them THEY want. THEY want the ''authorized dealer'' tag, and the MAP tag (line through a price - see the cost of your item ''in cart''.

Large retailers asked eBay to share thier pain of returns and spread it out on small sellers. If Macys does 30 days on returns, or gives money back - then so should the ''rest'' of the sellers. Of course Macys get advertising funds, ad support, dealer tags, MDF and more - small sellers DONT - but thats how Macys can do those policies!

''It would be far too obvious (and a PR nightmare) for eBay to unceremoniously suspend or delete the accounts of all the small sellers who were deemed to be ''undesirable''. If such a thing were to happen en-masse, on a given day... it would simply be too obvious. There would be no plausible denial. They could not blame the seller for having ''broken the rules'' or ''shown poor performance''' .. thats what tighter policies and VERO is for. Every day VERO processes hundreds of take downs for manufactorers who abuse current US trade law and with eBays nod nod wink wink, take down auctions of BIN sales - ''just because''.

Like the famous MC0999 Unauthorized charge! In that one ''YOU the small seller'' have no right to list an iem - because the maker says so. eBay SWEARS its a DMCA issue. Except ... 1) Its codified in the FIrst Sale Doctrine that you dont need permission 2) Its NOT in the DMCA at all (its a lie eBay pretends to not know about) 3) it was upheld in Lanham (Belltronics vs Southwest) and extended by the courts that you can use registered trademarks and descriptions to sell an object.

eBay knows this and ignores it all - and they use VERO to kick sellers listings off eBay. (ask Sony, Kenwood, Clarion, Sony, Denon, Monstercable and more). SOny uses NET ENFORCERS to do its dirty work via VERO.

Thats why as Annie says - it doesnt happen en mass - it cant - there would be 10000 law suits. They do it SLOWLY.

They squeeze you on listing proceedures, pictures, return policies, money holds and more - and when that doesnt work - VERO aka eBays leg breakers go to work. They PURPOSELY refuse to answer you, list a phone number or even look at the complaint!

''We are, in fact, seeing such a thing in action this very week. Their ''plausible'' excuse for listings not being seen is (or will be) a ''glitch'' or ''server error'' or update of some sort. Yet the result remains the same: small-to-medium sellers are no longer being seen in the search results. Pageviews are down, sales are down... and eventually (as expected and as desired) many will move on, or simply go out of business.''

That is method #2. When you dont bend to thier whim - they just hide your listings .. or as Noah put it ...they give priority to the people they want (now its the PRO group) (why no one is suing is beyond me - but im not a lawyer).

That you got a happy ending .... fantastic! ... its a one in a million thing. Getting eBay to do the right thing is virtually impossible - its like winning the powerball lottery in every state in the US alphabetically ... twice!

Hats off to Annie for her posts :)  
Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay   Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay
This user has validated their user name. by: basset
       
Sun May 20 16:31:58 2012
All I want to know is the username of the habitually remorseful buyer so we can all add it to our blocked list!  
Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay   Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay
by: Mr. Me This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun May 20 23:39:08 2012
in a perfect world....Buyer feedback would have dealt with her long before eBay did...
Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay   Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay
This user has validated their user name. by: Al G
       
Mon May 21 08:41:56 2012
@Annie
"At one brief moment, they had the opportunity to be successful at BOTH. The could have nurtured and maintained ''eBay-classic'' while spinning-off and having a twin-sister site: eBay-Prime (or ''eBay Deluxe'' or ''eBay Retail'')."

Please - please don't make eBay adopt "eBay Classic".

Sounds too much like Coke Classic & we know that went down the drain rather quickly.....

Besides Moxie is much better for you than Coke.....
Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay   Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay
This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie
       
Mon May 21 10:38:26 2012
LOL @ Al G ... Funny! As I was typing that phrase, the same thing came to my mind.
Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay   Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay
by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon May 21 11:09:45 2012
>All I want to know is the username of the habitually remorseful buyer so we can all add it to our blocked list!  

I want to know that too.
I have a very big blocklist, basically everyone who did or said something inappropriate over 13 years.  I'd be for designing a shared list of buyers who are undesirable.  

The only thing is it might be likened to a credit bureau, and would then be federally regulated. Like PayPal, I wouldn't want the feds regulating me.  

But I have not done anything to bring myself under such regulation, unlike PayPal.  They are ripe for federal and state regulation!
Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay   Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay
by: RCL This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon May 21 12:46:31 2012
I don't know where this thread went blooey, but it was VERY good to hear some positive seller treatment! PLEASE tell us the ID of this trigger-happy buyer!!! It's not libel or slander.
Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay   Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay
by: rosecottagevintage This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Mon May 21 16:01:25 2012
OP, I wish I could find something positive about what ebay did for you in this example you posted. But eBay did not get back with you and tell you anything. So happy for you that your record has been expunged. Many of us have not had that experience at all. As a former long-time seller on ebay I cannot even make my fingers type a listing for ebay with my collectibles and vintage jewelry anymore. I had an experience on ebay with a buyer/seller who claimed I sent her a $9.99 figurine that was damaged. I offered her a refund of the item and the return shipping, because I wanted the undamaged item back if she wanted a refund. The item was a glass figurine that had a finish on the bottom she decided was damaged, but was in truth perfectly correct. She called me a liar on the negative she gave, but I perservered and tried to get her to send it back. She would not remove the negative and subsequently it has become clear that she does this to others on a frequent basis. Ebay would not do anything for me and I had to wait a year to get my good reputation back. Please listen to Anne, Pace and Steevo because they've got ebay's number. They are also very right about listing small price items. You will be in the red with ebay's policies and fees. No longer can you get a reasonable price with auctions. Your selling reputation can be damaged at the whim of any buyer out there with no way for you to fix it. You got it cleared up this time, but don't be surprised if you can't the next.

From an 11-year ebay victim/veteran who lists on several fixed price venues now. Ebay you didn't kill my love of finding treasures and selling them, but you came close.  
Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay   Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay
This user has validated their user name. by: Tula
       
Mon May 21 20:13:17 2012
It's been a rough week on eBay. I don't know about the glitches, but I had a dozen or so items listed and they *all* had 0 views. The week before, all my items had double-digit views and bidding wars. No rolling blackout my... foot.

eBay buyer quality has been solidly deteriorating. I had one this week who sent back the auction item she won. No note, no communications, nothing to indicate this is a return. I emailed her to confirm and have heard nothing. Looking further back in her feedback, it seems she has a huge number of items with the feedback simply "returned". What happened to common courtesy and, I don't know, following standard return procedures? I guess we sellers are supposed to be mind readers who somehow know that the buyer is returning something and that it's not a postal snafu.

I've had more problem buyers in the past 6 months than in my previous 10 years on eBay combined. Buyers have always wanted a bargain, but they used to be willing to pay fair prices. Now, as others have mentioned, they want champagne service at soda pop prices. Sad.
Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay   Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay
by: comet This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon May 21 23:26:33 2012
I see things at sales that I KNOW with the proper "venue" ie the OLD EBAY I could be selling nicely.

And I am forced to pass 'em right on by.

Not because I don't WANT to pay for them.  I do!  I just don't want to have them sit around waiting to be looked at by one or maybe 2 potential bidders and maybe even get paid for should they eventually get a bid on them.  And then to risk mailing something!  

I DO still sell on ebay but not the things I would LIKE to be selling that would net me an actual profit.  Of course if I see an actual GEM in the rough I would buy it---but where oh where would I SELL it????
Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay   Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay
by: used2luv2sell This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue May 22 00:02:38 2012
This story doesn't make me feel warm and fuzzy towards Ebay.  

Ebay has created this buyer & willingly let them loose to create headaches and havoc for the small seller.

The fact that Ebay righted ONE wrong - WHOOPEE!  Now, when are they going to ''help'' the rest of us by removing all FB left by deadbeat lying buyers?

Ebay has no clue how to give even remotely ''good'' customer service, yet they expect sellers to be perfect.

Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay   Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay
by: uncle rico This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue May 22 02:55:54 2012
@ Steevo - I'm primarily a seller, but even I find your $10 handling fee to be high..I imagine most people would, whether they actually say so or not.  
Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay   Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay
This user has validated their user name. by: Roger Rabbit
       
Tue May 22 10:28:21 2012
"YEA - EBAY FINALLY IS LISTENING??????"

I seriously doubt it.
Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay   Story of Buyer's Remorse Has Happy Ending for eBay
by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed May 23 12:00:21 2012
Uncle Rico, businesses have different costs.  

It's impossible to get a package of any size boxed and shipped for under that.  

Have you bought boxes?  We pay at least $3.50, for the smallest ones we buy and up to $8 or $9 for some larger ones.  

Employees are boxing things and labeling them, we are not working on our kitchen table.  We have a 10,000 square foot warehouse and we do have forklifts, trucks and insurance.  

How much should it cost to put something in a box with all that going on?

In any case, the proper solution was always (and still should  be but isn't) to not buy if you don't like the cost and terms.

There are many companies that charge for shipping and sometimes things are not a good deal.  You shouldn't buy.  

No fair buying and then whining in DSRs, which is the system eBay hath wrought.

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